Hong Kong-based hotel brand, Ovolo Group, has called for assistance from the Hong Kong government to restore faith among travellers visiting the city, with tourism being hardest hit in the wake of recent political and social tension.
According to preliminary data for August from STR, demand for hotel rooms in Hong Kong plummeted 28.8 per cent, with occupancy down 29.8 per cent to 63.9 per cent – the lowest for any month in STR’s historical database for Hong Kong. The figures are the lowest Hong Kong has seen since the SARS pandemic outbreak in 2003.
Average Daily Rate in the city fell 21 per cent to HKD1,086.16 (AUD$204.42) while RevPAR also declined 44.6 per cent to HKD694.15 (AUD$130.62). Overall tourist arrivals fell by nearly 40 per cent in August, significantly higher than the five per cent drop experienced in July.
Ovolo Group Founder and CEO, Girish Jhunjhnuwala, said tourism has always been a vital pillar of Hong Kong’s economy.
“It’s devastating to see the effect that the recent situation in our city has had on local businesses, particularly those of us in the hospitality industry,” he said.
“With this in mind, it is imperative the Hong Kong Government and Hong Kong Monetary Authority both step in to lend a helping hand to local businesses who are struggling during these times – not only to ensure we reduce negative economic impact and avoid loss of wages or jobs, but to ultimately protect Hong Kong’s status as a thriving tourism hub for years to come.”
Jhunjhnuwala added those hit the hardest as a result of tough times are the front-line employees who are now staring down the barrel of reduced hours, wage decreases or redundancies.
Ovolo Group operates both its head office in Hong Kong as well as four hotels and five food and beverage venues.